CNX19 Percussion Staff

Jack Boulis

Executive Director
Member, CPAA Board of Directors

Jack is a music educator and percussionist from Delaware, Ohio. He received his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Toledo in 1993. Jack was a member of the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps from 1986-1990 where he served as drum line captain 1988-1990.

Over the past 27 years Jack has taught music in all grade levels, K-12, in Ohio public schools. Other teaching experience includes the University of Toledo Marching Band and the University of Cincinnati Athletic Bands.

Jack serves on the ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. Board of Directors and has been with ConneXus since their first season in 2013.

Andrew Brown

Ensemble Director, Music Coordinator & Front Ensemble Manager
Member, CPAA Board of Directors

Drew Brown has been involved with the marching and percussive arts since 2001 as a performer, educator, and designer. He is currently Ensemble Director at ConneXus Percussion where he also serves as Music Coordinator and Front Ensemble Coordinator and as a member of the ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. Board of Directors.

Since 2015, Drew has worked with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps where he is a front ensemble technician and electronics coordinator.

Drew studied music education, composition, and percussion performance at Bowling Green State University, Wright State University, and the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music.

Drew is proud to be endorsed by Innovative Percussion and Evans Drumheads.

Tommy Roam

Program & Visual Coordinator, Battery and Visual Designer

Tommy is an active designer and educator in the marching arts.  He currently lives in Dayton, Oh as the Percussion Director at Kettering Fairmont HS. Tommy is also the Program Coordinator, Battery Designer, and Visual Designer for ConneXus.  He is a former member of the Glassmen, Bluecoats, and Rhythm X and has served on the instructional staff for the Bluecoats, Rhythm X, and Carolina Crown.
Tommy is a proud sponsor of Promark Drumsticks and Evans Drumheads by D’Addario

Andrew Markworth

Front Ensemble Designer

Andrew Markworth is a composer, arranger and consultant writing wind, front ensemble and battery percussion for marching bands, indoor drumlines and drum corps.

He is currently the music arranger and coordinator for the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps from San Antonio, TX and The Company Performance Ensemble of Great Britain. He also is the music director for Rhythm X; both the 3 time gold medalist percussion group (2008, 2009, 2013) and the 2 time gold medalist winds group (2015, 2017). Andrew was the Front Ensemble Arranger/Coordinator for Carolina Crown from 2007-2014.

Andrew currently resides in Centerville, Ohio with his wife Kara, daughter Natalie, and son Brady.

Brandon Smith

Choreographer and Visual Design

Originally from Lexington, KY, Brandon’s career in the performing arts includes musical theater professional and studio dance, and the marching arts. He began drum corps and color guard with the Madison Scouts, performing in the color guard from 2003-2006. Afterwards, he was a member of the Pride of Cincinnati and Juxtaposition Winter Guard. Brandon has an extensive stage performance resume that includes regional musical theater and professional dance. Highlights include Hair, RENT, Hairspray, The Nutcracker Ballet, and the world premiere cast of the Pride of Cincinnati Dance Ensemble.

A 2007 graduate of Miami University of Ohio, he was a four year member of their student dance company, Vision Dance Company, and led them as Artistic Director for the 2005-06 season. After graduating, he served as a musical theater dance instructor for Kentucky Conservatory Theatre (KCT). He continued his teaching at Olmsted Performing Arts (OPA) in Cleveland, OH, while pursuing his M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of Akron. He also served as the Director of Dance Education at OPA and instructed students in jazz, contemporary and ballet. Brandon was also a founding member of the North Pointe Ballet company.

Brandon has been a designer and choreographer for color guards in the Kentucky and Ohio region including include Paul Laurence Dunbar HS, North Hardin HS, Madison Central HS, and Phoenix Independent Winter Guard. Brandon is entering his 5th season as a Designer and Movement Choreographer for Juxtaposition Winter Guard, the 2016 WGI Independent Open Class Champion and 2017 World Class Finalist. From 2012-2017, Brandon was the Color Guard Caption Head and Designer for the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. Currently, he is the Movement Designer and Choreographer for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.

Brandon lives in Columbus, Ohio where he choreographs for the Central Crossing and Worthington Kilbourne bands. Brandon is looking forward to joining ConneXus for the 2019 season!

Frank Cummings

Battery Coordinator

 Frank was born and raised in southern New Jersey, just thirty miles outside of Philadelphia. It was in the fourth grade when he discovered his love for drumming. In 2003, Frank was introduced to the marching arts, joining the Penns Grove High School marching band.
Frank began marching drum corps in 2008 with the Reading Buccaneers, winning two DCA titles in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Frank  lived out his dream, joining the snare line at Carolina Crown. He continued marching Crown through 2012, eventually aging out with the Bluecoats in 2013. Along with his passion for drum corps, Frank has extensive WGI experience, marching with United Percussion in 2011 and Rhythm X in 2012, 2013 and 2014, aging out as the ensemble section leader.

After moving to Ohio, Frank has had the privilege of working with many great programs in the Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati areas. He is currently the battery caption head for the BOA finalist William Mason High School marching band and serves as a battery technician for the Lebanon band program. In 2015, Frank joined Rhythm X as a snare technician, where he continues to teach. Frank was the snare technician for the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015 and 2016.

Frank looks forward to continuing his educational role as a snare technician with Carolina Crown as well as battery coordinator with ConneXus.

Michael Reese

Front Ensemble Coordinator
Educational Director, “ConneXion”
Advisor, CPAA Board of Directors

Michael Reese is an active music educator and the current Middle School Band Director for the Elida Local School District near Lima, OH.
Michael received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Marietta College in the Spring of 2017, along with a minor in Political Science and Certificate of Teacher Leadership. He is a proud member of NAfME and OMEA.
During his marching career, Michael performed with Legends Drum and Bugle Corps (2014), Cap City Percussion (2014-2015), Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps (2015-2016) and Rhythm X (2016-2017).
Michael is excited to spend his second season with ConneXus!

Nick Riley

Development Coordinator & Front Ensemble Technician
President, CPAA Board of Directors

Nick Riley is thrilled to return to ConneXus for his seventh season in 2019. Nick currently serves as Development Coordinator and Front Ensemble Technician for ConneXus Percussion and has previously held numerous creative, administrative, and instructional roles within the ensemble since co-founding the organization in 2012. He also serves as President of the ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. Board of Directors, having previously served as Vice President from 2014 to 2016.

Nick holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio where he studied music education with James Swearingen and Jim Dowdy; percussion with Bob Breithaupt, Nate Anders, and Eric Paton; and music composition with Dr. Dina Lentsner and Tony Zilincik. While completing his undergraduate degree, Nick was a sought-after percussion arranger and instructor in central and southwestern Ohio.

Currently, Nick is in his seventh year as Director of Bands for Liberty Center Local Schools where he coordinates all aspects of the instrumental music program, grades 5 through 12. Since his appointment in 2012, the LC Band Program has doubled in size and seen significant growth in quality and interest.

Nick is the founder of the web-based marching arts design company NPR Marching Concepts (, where he has over 50 ensembles to his credit since beginning his writing career in 2007.  A prolific composer for marching bands, indoor percussion, and winter winds programs, Nick’s compositions can be heard across the United States and South America.  In addition to writing an arranging, Nick is an avid judge of the pageantry arts as a member of the Central States Judges Association and Ohio Music Education Association, having served on numerous local and championship-level adjudication panels. He also presented a clinic on marching percussion composition at the 2013 OMEA Professional Development Conference.

Recently, Nick had the opportunity to work with some of the top marching arts ensembles in the world. He served as Assistant Visual Caption Head for Legends Drum & Bugle Corps (MI) from 2011 to 2013,  Percussion Consultant for The Ohio State University Marching Band from 2011 to 2014, and as a Percussion Instructor for the Medellin Gran Banda (Colombia, South America), the 2014 DCI SoundSport World Champion. Nick returned to the DCI activity in 2016 as a member of the visual staff for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps (IA).  In 2017, Nick spent the summer as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Columbus Saints, a central Ohio DCI SoundSport ensemble.  In 2018, Nick took on the role of Front Ensemble Coordinator/Arranger for the Medellin Gran Banda.

In addition to publishing his own music, Nick’s compositions for indoor percussion are published through Gary P. Gilroy Publications and Marching Show Concepts. He is a member of ASCAP, OMEA, CSJA, NAfME, and PAS and has been an endorsed artist-educator with Vic Firth, Inc. since 2008.  Nick is also proud to hold endorsements from Evans/D’Addario, Sabian, and Black Swamp Percussion.

A native of Centerville, Ohio, he currently lives in Perrysburg, Ohio, south of Toledo.

John Espy

Logistics Co-Coordinator
Member, CPAA Board of Directors

John Espy is currently a financial software specialist in the Cincinnati area.  Prior to his position in school finance, Mr. Espy was a Band Director in the Milford Exempted Village School District located on the east-side of the Cincinnati, OH area.  At Milford, Mr. Espy’s concert ensembles consistently received Superior ratings at Ohio Music Education Association events; the Marching Band is a consistent Bands of America Semi-Finalist; and the Winter Percussion Ensemble has been WGI Scholastic A class World Finalists.  Mr. Espy earned his undergraduate degree in music education from Marshall University in Huntington, WV, a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Accounting. Before coming to Milford, Mr. Espy was the Director of Bands for the Mt. Healthy City School District, as well as percussion arranger and caption head at Cabell Midland High School located in Ona, WV.

Mr. Espy’s performance credits include the front ensemble for the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Columbus, Ohio as well as the 18-time World Champion Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps from Concord, California.  John was a member of the Marching Thunder (MU) snare line serving two years as drumline captain. Mr. Espy has also served as percussion arranger and instructor for the Marshall University Marching Thunder. During his time playing drums in the Marshall 12 O’clock Jazz Ensemble, John performed with Arturo Sandoval, Kathy Kosins, Byron Stripling, Paquito D’Rivera just to name a few.  He was a recognized award winner at the prestigious Notre Dame Jazz Festival having been awarded honors by legendary drummer Peter Erskine. Currently, Mr. Espy a member of the Cincinnati-based Fillmore Wind Band that performed at 2017 Midwest Band Clinic.

Mr. Espy is an active adjudicator as well as a member of the Vic Firth Education Team in the capacity of marching percussion specialist (MPS) and Scholastic Educator (SEP).

Colby McClellan

Logistics Co-Coordinator
Tenor Technician
Member, CPAA Board of Directors

Colby McClellan has been part of the marching activity since 2005. He began his marching career at Hickory High School in North Carolina. During his undergraduate studies, he was a section leader for the Marching Mountaineers of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

He performed as tenor section leader with Carolina Gold from 2010 to 2012, during which time the corps received high percussion all three years and became the DCA Class A World Champions. During the summer of 2013, he was privileged to age out as a member of the 75th anniversary corps of the DCI Finalist Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps.

Colby marched three seasons of WGI with Wake Forest Independent, based out Winston Salem, NC and served as the tenor section leader. Colby finished his WGI marching career with the MQ at Matrix during the 2014 season.

Colby has been an educator and designer for various schools throughout North Carolina. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio where he works as a Sales and Marketing Representative and is Battery Coordinator at Milford High School.

2019 is Colby’s sixth season with ConneXus and he couldn’t be more excited to see where this family is headed!

Robert Hinkle

Tenor Technician

Robert Hinkle has been involved with the marching arts since 2008 during his freshmen year of high school. He has spent many years both marching and teaching. After high school Robert continued drumming with Cap City Percussion where he marched on the quad line for 5 years until he aged out. Robert began teaching high schools in the Columbus area while he was marching and currently instructs at Central Crossing High School where he runs the battery and co directs the indoor program. Outside of drumming, Robert is a freelance photographer in the Columbus area.

Robert has been involved with ConneXus in the past and is excited to jump back in!

Lora Vonderhaar

Front Ensemble Technician

Lora Vonderhaar is from Kings Mills, Ohio, where she attended high school and participated in the marching band and indoor drumline. In May, she graduated from the University of Dayton with degrees in International Studies and Spanish, and minors in Political Science and Middle East and Islamic Studies.

Lora began her independent marching career with Cap City (2015) and Tate’s Creek (2016), eventually aging out of DCI with the Crossmen (2017), and of WGI with Rhythm X (2017-2018). Lora has teaching experience at Miamisburg, Beavercreek, and Lebanon high schools.

Lora is excited to begin her first season on staff at ConneXus!

Aaron Bailie

Snare Technician

Aaron began playing snare drum at the age of eleven in the Louisville Pipe Band. He continued to play snare drum with the South Oldham HS marching band, where he developed an interest in drum corps.

He went on to march DCI with The Glassmen, The Bluestars, and The Bluecoats. Aaron earned a bronze and gold medal with The Bluecoats, where he aged out as the drumline section leader in 2016. Aaron marched WGI with Tates Creek Indoor, concluding his marching percussion career with Rhythm X.

Aaron graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in music, and currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Max Nieves

Snare Technician

Max began his drumming career early, finding interest in the activity at 3 years old.

His interest in marching percussion sparked in middle school, continuing through his four years of high school. He attended Saline High School and marched four years as a snare drummer (2009-2013). His junior year of high school, he participated in his first Winter Guard International competition with Motor City Percussion, competing in Percussion Independent Open class (2012-2013). After 2 years, Max moved to Percussion Independent World class, marching his third WGI season with Eastside Fury Percussion (2014). He continued through the next two seasons with Redline Percussion (2015-2016). Max began his DCI career in 2015 with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, also participating in 2015’s Individual and Ensemble competition. He moved on to spend his next two summers with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (2016-2017), earning a world championship in 2016. Max finished his last two seasons of WGI with Rhythm X (2017-2018), earning a silver medal in the winter of 2018.

Max has taught with Lake Effect Percussion (2014 – 2015), South Lyon High School’s fall and winter drumline programs (2015-2016), and is currently the snare tech for Novi High School’s fall and winter drumline programs (2016-present).

Max has a Certificate in Music Production from Washtenaw Community College, and is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Law from Washtenaw Community College.

He is eager to begin the 2019 season, and is very excited for the things to come!

Kristin Smith

Cymbal Technician

Kristin Smith has been involved in the marching arts since 2004.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bowling Green State University and is a graduate medical education program administrator for OhioHealth in Columbus, Ohio.

Her previous performance experience includes the Pickerington North HS Marching Band, the Pride of Mid-America Marching Band at Ball State University, the Falcon Marching Band at Bowling Green State University, Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps, and Matrix.

Her past instructional experience has included percussion and visual instruction for high school and university marching bands, indoor percussion ensembles, and drum corps.  She has worked with Westerville South HS, Marion Harding HS, Central Crossing HS, the University of Toledo, Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps, and Bowling Green State University.

Kristin is excited to start her fifth season with ConneXus!

Mike Cavanaugh

Bass Technician

Mike Cavanaugh has been a part of the marching activity since 2008. He was introduced to the marching activity as a student of Centerville High School. Since then, he has been a marching member of many World Class WGI and DCI ensembles.

Mike started his drum corps career with The Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. Marching there in 2012 and 2013. Following that, Mike went on to march the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps where he received a DCI silver and bronze medal and aged out with the corps in 2015.

In 2013, Mike also marched his first Independent World WGI season with the WGI medalist marching ensemble, Rhythm X. He was a part of Rhythm X from 2013-2016 where he received a WGI gold medal in 2013, a WGI bronze medal in 2014, and a WGI silver medal in 2015.

Mike currently lives in Centerville, Ohio where he is the bass technician at many high schools in the Dayton area such as Centerville High School and Kettering Fairmont High School.

John Genga

Bass Technician

John is super excited to join the ConneXus percussion team. Since 2011 John has been an active member of the marching community with world class organizations such as The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps and Rhythm X Indoor Percussion. John is originally from Newport, RI but currently resides in Dayton, OH. He teaches various high schools in the area, including Mason HS, Lebanon HS, and Sycamore HS.

Melissa Behling

Website/Technology Administrator

Melissa began playing snare drum when she was nine years old.  Her band teacher’s rule that girls weren’t allowed to play drums became her motivation.  She started with the Racine Lighthouse Brigade Marching Band, then went on to march with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014 and 2015, Minnesota Brass Indoor in 2016 and aged out of DCI with Phantom Regiment in 2016.
She keeps her love of drumming alive by performing with the Milwaukee Bucks Beats Drumline and Tundraline, the official drumline of the Green Bay Packers. She is passionate about teaching and has worked with various groups throughout southern Wisconsin, including Sauk Prairie High School.
Melissa graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a certificate in Digital Studies.  She lives in Madison and works as a television news producer at WISC, the local CBS station.